Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Corals & Fishes

It seems I just returned from Ophir and before I know, it's time to pack for my diving trip! This is gonna be my first dive this year, my first dive trip and second visit to Pulau Redang, an island about 45mins away from Terengganu.

We left for Terengganu on Thursday night in a comfy 26 seater VIP coach. The coach departed at 10pm. I was pigging away busy with my Z's and before you know it, we have reached Terengganu on Friday at 7am. The tide was too low to get to Redang and we had breakfast in the meantime. The food tasted horrible. We left the jetty at 930am. I was still half awake.

Redang Kalong Resort is a humble resort off the mainstream beach. Facilities are basic and simple. The water seems to taste somewhat salty. Perhaps its water filtered from the sea, I do not know. The orange cordial they served tasted like isotonic drinks. The BOH tea that I had always loved tasted weird. The food was, edible. Meals are served 4 times a day, breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner. BBQ dinners were on alternate nights. The accomodation was a humble airconditioned chalet, with beds and blankets that did not make my sensitive nose sneeze, thankfully.

I was very thankful because after months of outdoor adventure and sleeping in tents, I finally have a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in. And for that I slept extremely well :) I was finally somewhere where it felt more like a "holiday".

We did 5 dives, all boat dives and we had to enter by the backrow method. 2 on Friday and 3 on Saturday. I was told, we have up to 20m of visibility but the visibility was lesser than I expected at about 10m - 15m. It was fairly relaxing except that after having not dived in a year, my skills have gone a little rusty.

Dive 1
My BCD was still a tad too big but manageble. This sort of thing really tempts me to get my own equipment. Grrr..

I couldn't equalise properly! I had one side of my ears blocked and forgot to breathe in my concentration to clear a pathetic blocked ear. I'm fortunate to realise it quick enough. My buddy didn't have the same luck.

There was nothing fanciful to see as this was more like a check out dive. So I guess, there was nothing much to miss. I brought down the empty underwater casing for my camera. There were actually water vapour seen in it after a while. I really had no idea whether it was safe to bring the camera along with it.

Dive 2
My skills are back. With all equipment on, I'm raring to go.

The currents were superbly strong and not holding onto anything literally means you'll be sweot away the minute you aren't careful.

Dive 3
This first dive in the morning at 0830am but the water was not cold at all. With the same 3 weights on, my buoyancy was terrible and got chided for it. I was overweighted and had to fill my BCD with such a lot of air.

Dive 4
We shared the dive boat with 3 other French divers. I used 2 weights this time and it was much better. But this was still the dive with nothing much to see.

It's a nice feeling to dive amongst the channels. I learnt that there were "blind spots" in such channels. I actually saw the "currents" and witnessed the cold and hot streams mixing with each other as we cut through them.

Dive 5
First, I got the wrong wet suit on. How could I be so muddle-headed?! I made the boat turn back because of it or someone else I don't know is not going to be very happy with me :P

Then, my mask flooded, and it flooded. At first I thought I could clear it after descending. Goodness gracious, the speed of water entering was rapidly filling my mask. A couple more attempts were futile and I was literally clearing my mask on my entire way down, testing my multi-tasking and endurance skills to the max. Throughout the entire dive, I was clearing my mask, and clearing, and clearing.

Despite the series of unfortunate events, this turned out to be the best dive of the 5 we have done so far. We saw the most interesting creatures of the deep, many of which I have not seen before. The experience was indeed very satisfying.

All too soon, it was time to return to reality after a weekend of doing nothing by the sun, the sand and the sea, doing nothing but to dive, eat, sleep. Days of idling and lazing on the beach are going to be over in a matter of hours.

The way back was a torture as we stopped over at several places to pick and drop other passengers. That's what happens when you have to share a bus with other people. Halfway through, the disel leaked and filled the entire coach with its pungent aroma so badly we had to get off. Fortunately, the problem was rectified during our next dinner stop at Yong Peng.

By the time I returned, I had slept so much that I was so tired and could think of doing nothing except sleep.

Pictures:
http://dinno.fotopic.net/c561905.html
http://community.webshots.com/album/357499521uljghf
http://community.webshots.com/album/358450964xtSUyB
http://community.webshots.com/album/358479566VJUgIK

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 4:29 PM with 0 comments